SAINT PAUL — Secretary of State Steve Simon issued the following statement regarding the end of the special legislative session:
“The next statewide election begins in 238 days,” said Secretary of State Simon. “As of today, the legislature has agreed to authorize the full $6.6 million in HAVA funding to my office so that we can further secure Minnesota’s elections. We have been preparing for this day for more than a year and I am grateful to the legislative leaders who saw the wisdom in getting this done before our next statewide elections, particularly the bipartisan leadership in the House from Representatives Nelson, Dehn, O’Driscoll, and Nash. Thank you.
“The legislature also agreed to take important steps to protect voter privacy for the 2020 Presidential Nominating Primary contest. Thanks to the leadership of Representative Halverson, presidential primary voters no longer have to worry about their party choice being made available to the voting public. Though my preference has always been to keep ballot choice private, compromise on this issue – to make data available only to the major political parties – is largely consistent with what would have been available under the traditional caucus system.
“Tough negotiations are a fact of life in divided government. Nevertheless, legislative leaders worked to fully fund my office’s overall budget for the next biennium, including important funds for the Safe at Home address confidentiality program we administer. The Secretary of State’s Office is Minnesota’s front door for new business owners and entrepreneurs. By investing in the work of my office, the legislature and Governor have shown that they care deeply about investing in the overall economic health of Minnesota and our growing business community.
“Finally, I am grateful to the leadership of the House and Senate, and that of Governor Walz, for taking my priorities seriously and delivering on behalf of the people of Minnesota. We now have the resources needed to enhance the security and integrity of Minnesota’s elections, better serve the growing business community, protect voter privacy, and continue to serve victims of domestic violence. I said in January that we must remain restless about investing in democracy. Minnesota’s elected leaders have been restless and have delivered for the people of Minnesota. I too will remain restless about our democracy – defending and investing in that which makes Minnesota wonderfully unique – we truly are L’Etoile du Nord, The Star of the North.”
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